National Health Observances

Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

What Are the Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Scientists continue to unravel the complex brain changes involved in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It seems likely that damage to the brain starts a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems appear. During this preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, people seem to be symptom-free, but toxic changes are taking place in the brain.

Damage occurring in the brain of someone with Alzheimer’s disease begins to show itself in very early clinical signs and symptoms. For most people with Alzheimer’s—those who have the late-onset variety—symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s begin between a person’s 30s and mid-60s.

The first symptoms of Alzheimer’s vary from person to person. Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer’s disease. Decline in non-memory aspects of cognition, such as word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may also signal the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. And some people may be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. As the disease progresses, people experience greater memory loss and other cognitive difficulties.

Alzheimer’s disease progresses in several stages: preclinical, mild (sometimes called early-stage), moderate, and severe (sometimes called late-stage).

 

Signs of Mild Alzheimer’s Disease

In mild Alzheimer’s disease, a person may seem to be healthy but has more and more trouble making sense of the world around him or her. The realization that something is wrong often comes gradually to the person and his or her family. Problems can include:

 

Alzheimer’s disease is often diagnosed at this stage.

 

Signs of Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease

In this stage, more intensive supervision and care become necessary, which can be difficult for many spouses and families. Symptoms may include:

  • Increased memory loss and confusion
  • Inability to learn new things
  • Difficulty with languageand problems with reading, writing, and working with numbers
  • Difficulty organizing thoughts and thinking logically
  • Shortened attention span
  • Problems coping with new situations
  • Difficulty carrying out multistep tasks, such as getting dressed
  • Problems recognizing family and friends
  • Hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia
  • Impulsive behavior such as undressing at inappropriate times or places or using vulgar language
  • Inappropriate outbursts of anger
  • Restlessness, agitation, anxiety, tearfulness, wandering—especially in the late afternoon or evening
  • Repetitive statements or movement, occasional muscle twitches

 

Signs of Severe Alzheimer’s Disease

People with severe Alzheimer’s cannot communicate and are completely dependent on others for their care. Near the end, the person may be in bed most or all of the time as the body shuts down. Their symptoms often include:

  • Inability to communicate
  • Weight loss
  • Seizures
  • Skin infections
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Groaning, moaning, or grunting
  • Increased sleeping
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control

 

A common cause of death for people with Alzheimer’s disease is aspiration pneumonia. This type of pneumonia develops when a person cannot swallow properly and takes food or liquids into the lungs instead of air.

 

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, though there are medicines that can treat the symptoms of the disease.

 

Symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Some people have a condition called mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. It can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. But, not everyone with MCI will develop Alzheimer’s disease. People with MCI can still take care of themselves and do their normal activities. MCI memory problems may include:

  • Losing things often
  • Forgetting to go to events or appointments
  • Having more trouble coming up with words than other people the same age

 

Source https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-are-signs-alzheimers-disease

 


Identifying Whole Grain Products

The Whole Grains Council has created an official packaging symbol called the Whole Grain Stamp that helps consumers find real whole grain products. The Stamp started to appear on store shelves in mid-2005 and is becoming more widespread every day.

THE WHOLE GRAIN STAMP MAKES IT EASY

With the Whole Grain Stamp, finding three servings of whole grains is easy: Pick three foods with the 100% Stamp or six foods with ANY Whole Grain Stamp.

The 100% Stamp assures you that a food contains a full serving or more of whole grain in each labeled serving and that ALL the grain is whole grain, while the 50%+ Stamp and the Basic Stamp appear on products containing at least half a serving of whole grain per labeled serving.

BUT WHAT IF THERE IS NO STAMP?

Until the Whole Grain Stamp is on all foods, how can consumers know if a product is whole grain?

First, check the package label. Many whole grain products not yet using the Stamp will list the grams of whole grain somewhere on the package, or say something like “100% whole wheat.” You can trust these statements. But be skeptical if you see the words “whole grain” without more details, such as “crackers made with whole grain.” The product may contain only miniscule amounts of whole grains.

Words you may see on packages

·         whole grain [name of grain]

·         whole wheat

·         whole [other grain]

·         stoneground whole [grain]

·         brown rice

·         oats, oatmeal (including old-fashioned oatmeal, instant oatmeal)

·         wheatberries

 

What they mean

YES — Contains all parts of the grain, so you’re getting all the nutrients of the whole grain.

 

Words you may see on packages

·         wheat

·         semolina

·         durum wheat

·         organic flour

·         stoneground

·         multigrain (may describe several whole grains or several refined grains, or a mix of both)

 

What they mean

MAYBE — These words are accurate descriptions of the package contents, but because some parts of the grain MAY be missing, you are likely missing the benefits of whole grains. When in doubt, don’t trust these words!

 

Words you may see on packages

·         enriched flour

·         wheat flour

·         degerminated (on corn meal)

·         bran

·         wheat germ

 

What they mean

NO — These words never describe whole grains.

Note that words like “wheat,” “durum,” and “multigrain” can (and do) appear on good whole grain foods, too. None of these words alone guarantees whether a product is whole grain or refined grain, so look for the word “whole” and follow the other advice here.

CHECK THE LIST OF INGREDIENTS

If the first ingredient listed contains the word “whole” (such as “whole wheat flour” or “whole oats”), it is likely – but not guaranteed – that the product is predominantly whole grain. If there are two grain ingredients and only the second ingredient listed is a whole grain, the product may contain as little as 1% or as much as 49% whole grain (in other words, it could contain a little bit of whole grain, or nearly half).

MULTIPLE GRAINS GET EVEN TRICKIER

If there are several grain ingredients, the situation gets more complex. For instance, let’s say a “multi-grain bread” is 30% refined flour and 70% whole grain. But the whole grains are split between several different grains, and each whole grain comprises less than 30% of the total.

The ingredients might read “Enriched white flour, whole wheat, whole oat flour, whole cornmeal and whole millet” and you would NOT be able to tell from the label whether the whole grains make up 70% of the product or 7% of the product. That’s why we created the Whole Grain Stamp program.

FIBER IS NOT RELIABLE

Fiber varies from grain to grain, ranging from 3.5% in rice to over 15% in barley and bulgur. What’s more, high-fiber products sometimes contain bran or other added fiber without actually having much if any whole grain.

Both fiber and whole grains have been shown to have health benefits. But they’re not interchangeable. So checking the fiber on a label is not a very reliable way to guess whether a product is truly whole grain.

Source https://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/identifying-whole-grain-products

 


Dementia: The facts

·         Dementia is a term used to describe different brain disorders that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion.

·         Early symptoms of dementia can include memory loss, difficultly performing familiar tasks, problems with language and changes in personality. View the early symptoms.

·         There is currently no cure for dementia, but a range of support is available for people with dementia and their carers.

·         Dementia knows no social, economic, or ethnic boundaries.

·         Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Other causes include vascular disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and fronto-temporal dementia.

·         There are currently estimated to be over 46 million people worldwide living with dementia. The number of people affected is set to rise to over 131 million by 2050.

·         There is one new case of dementia worldwide every three seconds.

·         The worldwide costs of dementia are estimated at US$818 billion. As a result, if dementia care were a country, it would be the world’s 18th largest economy. If it were a company, it would be the world’s largest by annual revenue exceeding Apple (US $742 billion) and Google (US $368 billion).

Dementia is often hidden away, not spoken about, or ignored at a time when the person living with dementia and their family carers are most in need of support within their families, friendship groups and communities.

The social stigma is the consequence of a lack of knowledge about dementia and it can have numerous long- and short-term effects, including:

·         Dehumanization of the person with dementia

·         Strain within families and friendships

·         A lack of sufficient care for people with dementia and their carers

·         A lower rate of diagnosis of dementia

·         Delayed diagnosis and support

The stigmatization of dementia is a global problem and it is clear that the less we talk about dementia, the more the stigma will grow. During World Alzheimer’s Month we encourage you to find out more and play your part in reducing the stigma and improving the lives of people with dementia and their carers in your community.

 

Source https://www.alz.co.uk/world-alzheimers-month/dementia-facts


Pain Management

Lifestyle & Management

The importance of maintaining an engaged and active lifestyle cannot be overemphasized. To the extent possible, you should participate in physical activities or exercise programs, and keep up social activities and family engagements. This approach will reduce your risk of depression and isolation.

Diet and Exercise

It’s important to stay well-nourished and active, even if you are in pain. Having a good diet will help improve the way your medications work, help reduce side effects, and help you maintain the energy you need to carry out your daily activities An exercise program that involves joining a group or a gym can also help reduce the risk of social isolation. Exercise programs like yoga or Tai Chi will also keep your muscles toned, improve balance, and reduce your risk of falling.

Taking an Active Role in Your Treatment

Only you know what your experience of pain is. For this reason, it is important that you take control of your situation. Make sure to inform your healthcare provider if you are still in a lot of pain even when you are following their instructions. A simple dosage change, trying a different treatment option, or using a different combination of treatments is part of the process of finding what works for you. There is no reason to suffer in silence when effective pain relief is available.

 

Source https://www.healthinaging.org/a-z-topic/pain-management/lifestyle


Basic Rights

People with chronic pain are often “people pleasers.” We find it hard to express our needs and require that others respect them. And when our needs are not met, tension is increased and our pain seems worse.

But you do have the same basic rights that you grant to others. You have the right to:

·     Act in a way that promotes dignity and self-respect.

·     Be treated with respect.

·     Make mistakes.

·     Do less than you are humanly capable of doing.

·     Change your mind.

·     Ask for what you want.

·     Take time to slow down and think before you act.

·     Ask for information.

·     Ask for help or assistance.

·     Feel good about yourself.

·     Disagree.

·     Not have to explain everything you do and think.

·     Say “no” and not feel guilty.

·     Ask why.

·     Be listened to and taken seriously when expressing your feelings.

·     Read and reread these rights so that you not only know them by heart, but so that they become part of your daily life.

 

Source https://www.theacpa.org/pain-management-tools/basic-rights/

 


Am I At Risk for Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors

·        All women are at risk

·        Symptoms exist – they can be vague, but usually get more intense over time

·        Early detection increases survival rate

·        A Pap test DOES NOT detect ovarian cancer

 

Ovarian cancer risk factors include:

·        Genetic predisposition

·        Personal or family history of breast, ovarian, or colon cancer

·        Increasing age

·        Infertility

 

While the presence of one or more risk factors may increase a woman’s chance of developing ovarian cancer, it does not necessarily mean that she will get the disease. A woman with one or more risk factors should be extra vigilant in watching for early symptoms.

Recommendations

Current recommendations for management of women at high risk for ovarian cancer are summarized below:

·        Women who appear to be at high risk for ovarian cancer should undergo genetic counseling and, if the risk appears to be substantial, may be offered genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2.

·        Women who wish to preserve their reproductive capacity can undergo screening by transvaginal ultrasonography every six months, although the efficacy of this approach is not clearly established.

·        Oral contraceptives should be recommended to young women before they embark on a planned family.

·        Women who do not wish to maintain their fertility, or who have completed their family, may undergo prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. The risk should be clearly documented, preferably established by BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing, before surgery. These women should be counseled that this operation does not offer absolute protection because peritoneal carcinomas occasionally can occur after bilateral oophorectomy.

·        Since BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations also increase the risk of developing breast cancer, annual mammography screening is suggested, beginning at age 25.

·        Women with a documented HNPCC Syndrome, also known as Lynch Syndrome, should undergo periodic screening mammography, colonoscopy, and endometrial biopsy.

 

Source http://www.ovarian.org/about-ovarian-cancer/am-i-at-risk


Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity Is a Major Public Health Problem

  • Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers.
  • Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.
  • Children with obesity are more likely to have obesity as adults. This can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers.

 

Childhood Obesity Is Influenced by Many Factors

Many factors can have an impact on childhood obesity, including eating and physical activity behaviors, genetics, metabolism, family and home environment, and community and social factors. For some children and families, obesity may be influenced by the following:

  • too much time spent being inactive
  • lack of sleep
  • lack of places to go in the community to get physical activity
  • easy access to inexpensive, high calorie foods and sugary beverages
  • lack of access to affordable, healthier foods

 

Addressing Obesity Can Start in the Home, but Also Requires the Support of Providers and Communities

We can all take part in the effort to encourage children to be more physically active and eat a healthy diet.

State and local health departments, businesses, and community groups can:

  • Ensure that neighborhoods have low-cost physical activity opportunities such as parks, trails, and community centers.
  • Offer easy access to safe, free drinking water and healthy, affordable food options.

Health Care Providers can:

  • Measure children’s weight, height and body mass index routinely.
  • Connect or refer families to breastfeeding support services, nutrition education, or childhood healthy weight programs as needed.

Early Care and Education centers and schools can:

  • Adopt policies and practices that support healthy eating, regular physical activity, and limited screen time.
  • Provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice these behaviors.

Working together, we all have a role in making healthier foods, beverages, and physical activity the easy choice for children and adolescents to help prevent childhood obesity.

 

Source https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html


Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis

Gastric motility disorders are gastrointestinal conditions which affect the body’s ability to digest food normally. A number of conditions fall into this category, including gastroparesis.

Gastroparesis literally means paralyzed stomach. It is one of the most severe and complicated gastric motility disorders. Gastroparesis can be caused by a number of factors and is commonly seen in the diabetic population; however, often the cause is unknown. It is more prominent among females than males.

Approximately 1 in 25 Americans, including children, suffers from gastroparesis. In some instances, it appears for a brief time and goes away on its own or improves with treatment. Many cases are refractory and do not respond well to treatment.

Gastroparesis is complicated to treat and treatment options are limited. There are few medications available, mostly geared towards symptom control rather than dealing with the underlying problem. For this reason, they are often ineffective.

Additional treatment options include diet changes, certain surgical procedures and, in severe cases, nutritional support through feeding tubes or IV nutrition.

Gastroparesis Symptoms

Symptoms of Gastroparesis often imitate those of other GI disorders which can make diagnosis difficult. Patients may complain of one or more of these symptoms:

  • Early Satietyafter a few bites of food
  • Nausea(especially after eating)
  • Vomiting(often undigested food from hours or even days before)
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Hiccupping
  • Excessive Belching
  • Bloating
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux which is not controlled by acid suppressants
  • Erratic blood glucose levels

 

Source https://www.g-pact.org/gastroparesis


Gastroparesis Tips

Gastroparesis Tips

Tips offered by other gastroparesis patients:

 – Sit up after eating

 – Walk after eating

 – Belly massage

 – Chew small bites of ginger

 – Acupuncture

 – Nausea wrist bands

 – Try to eat foods that are GP friendly.  Stay away from fried and greasy foods

 – Chew gum

 – Do mild exercise such as walking, Pilates, or yoga

 – Use heating pads on your stomach to help ease the pain

 – Eat small meals – 5 to 6 small meals per day

Source https://www.g-pact.org/gastroparesis/tips


Water and Contact Lenses Don’t Mix

Water and contact lenses don’t mix

Many people who wear contact lenses do not know that contact lenses and water are a bad combination—even when showering, swimming, or using a hot tub 1-4.

Water can introduce germs to the eyes through contact lenses

Water can cause soft contact lenses to change shape, swell, and stick to the eye. This is uncomfortable, and can scratch the cornea (the clear dome that covers the colored part of the eye), which makes it easier for germs to enter the eye and cause infection.

Most water is not germ-free. There are many different kinds of germs in water that can cause eye infections, but a particularly dangerous germ—an ameba called Acanthamoeba—is commonly found in tap water, lake water, well water, and other water sources 5. This germ can cause a very severe type of eye infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is often very painful and difficult to treat—sometimes requiring a year or more of treatment 6-8. Although rare, this type of infection can result in the need for a corneal transplant, or blindness 9, 10.

Keep contact lenses away from all water

For contact lens wearers, it is best to remove lenses before showering, swimming, or using a hot tub—and contact lenses should never be rinsed or stored in water 121112. It is also important to wash and dry hands well before handling lenses 13-15, and to clean contact lens cases with solution rather than water to avoid contaminating the lenses with germs found in water.

For those who are actively involved in swimming or other water sports and concerned about being able to see well enough without wearing lenses, prescription goggles may be a good option—or possibly even a different form of vision correction, such as laser eye surgery.

Throw away or disinfect contact lenses that touch water

If water touches contact lenses for any reason, take them out as soon as possible. Throw them away, or clean and disinfect them overnight before wearing them again. This may help to reduce the risk of infection, but these recommendations are not based on scientific testing. The safest option is to keep contact lenses away from all water.

References

1.    Hammersmith KM. Diagnosis and management of Acanthamoeba keratitisExternal. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2006;17(4):327-31.

2.    Butcko V, McMahon TT, Joslin CE, Jones L. Microbial keratitis and the role of rub and rinsingExternal. Eye Contact Lens. 2007;33(6 Pt 2):421-3; discussion 424-5.

3.    Beattie TK, Tomlinson A, McFadyen AK, Seal DV, Grimason AM. Enhanced attachment of Acanthamoeba to extended-wear silicone hydrogel contact lenses: a new risk factor for infection?External Ophthalmology. 2003;110(4):765-71.

4.    Wu Y, Carnt N, Stapleton F. Contact lens user profile, attitudes and level of compliance to lens careExternal. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2010;33(4):183-8.

5.    Visvesvara GS,  Moura H, Schuster FL. Pathogenic and opportunistic free-living amoebae: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri, and Sappinia diploideaExternal. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2007;50(1):1-26.

6.    Guerriero S, La Tegola MG, Monno R, Apruzzese M, Cantatore A. A case of descemet’s membrane rupture in a patient affected by AcanthamoebakeratitisExternal. Eye Contact Lens. 2009;35(6):338-40.

7.    Dart JK,  Saw VP, Kilvington S.  Acanthamoeba keratitis: diagnosis and treatment update 2009External. Am J Ophthalmol. 2009;148(4):487-499 e2.

8.    Ross J, Roy SL, Mathers WD, Ritterband DC, Yoder JS, Ayers T, Shah RD, Samper ME, Shih CY, Schmitz A, Brown AC. Clinical characteristics of Acanthamoeba keratitis infections in 28 states, 2008 to 2011External. Cornea. 2014;33(2): 161-8.

9.    Gagnon MR,  Walter KA.  A case of Acanthamoeba keratitis as a result of a cosmetic contact lensExternal. Eye Contact Lens. 2006;32(1):37-8.

10. Page MA, Mathers WD. Acanthamoeba keratitis: a 12-year experience covering a wide spectrum of presentations, diagnoses, and outcomesExternal. J Ophthalmol. 2013;2013:670242.

11. Joslin CE, Tu EY, Shoff ME, Booton GC, Fuerst PA, McMahon TT, Anderson RJ, Dworkin MS, Sugar J, Davis FG, Stayner LT. The association of contact lens solution use and Acanthamoeba keratitisExternal. Am J Ophthalmol. 2007;144(2):169-180.

12. Beattie TK, Tomlinson A, McFadyen AK. Attachment of Acanthamoeba to first- and second-generation silicone hydrogel contact lenses.ExternalOphthalmology. 2006;113(1): 117-25.

13. Radford CF, Minassian D, Dart JK, Stapleton F, Verma S. Risk factors for nonulcerative contact lens complications in an ophthalmic accident and emergency department: a case-control studyExternal. Ophthalmology. 2009;116(3):385-92.

14. Sokol JL, Mier MG, Bloom S, Asbell PA.  A study of patient compliance in a contact lens-wearing populationExternal. CLAO J. 1990;16(3):209-13.

15. Collins MJ, Carney LG. Patient compliance and its influence on contact lens wearing problemsExternal. Am J Optom Physiol Opt. 1986;63(12):952-6.

 

Source https://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/water-and-contact-lenses.html